Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Power and the Glory


Not a #fridayflash but I had extra words so wrote two stories tonight.. Not braggin or anything, just saying...

This story is dedicated to all my family and friends who told me NOT to watch any more Olympic hockey. *Sigh* By the way, I wrote this while everyone else was watching the Canadian women win a gold medal. I hope you guys are happy.. the game SOUNDED awesome...

Canada is the favourite to win gold at this year’s Olympics.

And like every Canadian worth his or her salt, she makes popcorn and pours herself a Molson Canadian and she sits on the chesterfield, ready to watch her country’s team finally collect its due.

Almost immediately she sees things aren’t going according to plan. The Canadians look awkward, like their skates are dull and they’ve never set foot on an ice pad before. The Americans are all full of grit and gusto and they play like this is their game and they want it, they taste it.

She watches as the Americans score goal after goal and Canada flounders. The popcorn grows cold and so does her interest in the game. She flicks off the TV in the middle of the third period and, despondent, goes to bed. The score at that point is 5-0.

The next morning she wakes to stunning news on her clock radio: Canada has won the game 6-5 in the most amazing comeback ever seen in sports history.

“Cool,” she says.

That night Canada is back playing Russia in the semi-finals. She watches the entire game, even though Canada has obviously forgotten how to play. She wants to turn off the TV and go to bed but she can’t, thinking the Canadians will surely make a comeback. She doesn’t want to miss it this time. And she doesn’t. She watches all night long and the Canadians suck worse and worse and worse.

Russia wins 8-0.

She goes to bed thoroughly depressed, thinking, “I shouldn’t have watched. I shouldn’t have watched....” 

The next night Canada plays against Sweden. They have to win, or they’re out of medal contention.

She realizes what she has to do. 

She turns on the TV and flips around until she finds an old movie. She’s tempted to peek over at CTV, yearning to know how Canada is doing, but she doesn’t.

She knows she cannot watch. Not if she wants Team Canada to win. When the movie is over she crawls into bed, thinking how exciting it will be when she hears about Canada’s win in the morning.

“CANUCK COMEBACK,” screams the headline on the front of the Toronto Star.

She is happy to have made a contribution to the team. When she doesn’t watch the gold medal round, Canada wins.

She is content.

She decides to apply her newfound powers to other sporting events. Thanks to her not watching, Canadian Joannie Rochette wins gold at the World Figure Skating Championship. The Toronto Blue Jays win the World Series and even the long-suffering Maple Leafs finally win their first Stanley Cup since the 1960s.

Thrilled to see her non-participatory powers in action, she doesn’t vote in the federal election and doesn’t even watch the results on TV. Sure enough, an NDP candidate finally becomes Prime Minister. 

When the economy starts playing havoc with her company’s bottom line, she calls in sick and eventually quits. Her company’s fortunes suddenly rocket and she is happy for them.

Eventually she is afraid to become involved in anything, fearful she will cause ill fortune to anyone she casts her eyes on.

She sits at the kitchen table, staring down at her hands, for hours at a time.

She unplugs her phone. She cancels her cable. She throws her crackberry in the garbage.

Eventually she just lies on her bed, eyes closed, hands crossed over her chest.

The world forgets her but she never forgets the world.

She is God, lying on a mildewed coverlet.


  1. That was a neat story. Very thought provoking. Ya think if you totally ignored your writing I would win a Nobel prize for literature? At least short-list me for a Giller Prize?

  2. Oh, I ALWAYS totally ignore my writing... the Giller's yours, baby.

  3. My truck broke down because of you? My muse left because of you? What the hell Cathy!?
    Oh well, I've always been a hard-luck case, so I'll stick by ya - no mildew allowed on your coverlet. Let's get coffee.

  4. You see, CJ? Your life was peaches and cream before I met you... now look!
    What kind of coffee?


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